Start a Culture of Daphnia in a Mason Jar?

Discussion in 'Fish Food' started by TanksbyTim, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. TanksbyTimValued MemberMember

    Hello, everyone! I have recently been looking into a live food source for my Golden Cloud Mountain Minnows (Golden var. of White Clouds). They have been exhibiting spawning behavior and I want to offer them a live food source.

    I have tried hatching baby brine shrimp before, but I found that it was too easy to overfeed the tank and that the water would foul pretty quickly as a result. I'm pretty sure that most worms would be too large for my fish (this is just a guess as I have no experience with those). So, I have been researching Daphnia.

    I've seen some of those large indoor/outdoor setups, but I'm in a very small apartment without access to an outside space. I have found some incomplete information about culturing them in jars but I'm not exactly sure how I would do that. I could culture green water easily using the light for my tank that is suspended above the tank.

    I need to know how I could successfully culture Daphnia (Moina, Pulex, or Magna; I'm not sure which would be best) in a small setup such as large mason jars. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated! If you know of a better live food source that I should try, please be sure to share! :)

  2. TanksbyTimValued MemberMember

    Most of my research suggests that it would be easy to setup, but now I'm mostly concerned with whether or not a jar would be large enough to successfully culture them. I can't have any more tanks setup at the moment so a large jar would be my best option.

    Green water, to my knowledge, is as simple as adding water from your tank to a jar with some spirulina powder. That seems to be an easy way to feed the Daphnia.

    The jar that I would keep them in is the last variable. I'm not sure how small I could go with this to be able to culture them successfully. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge culturing Daphnia in smaller containers?

    As for alternatives, I'm starting to think about giving BBS another try because it was a lot easier than this. I looked into microworms, but I hate worms. :)

    What do you think I should do?

  3. TanksbyTimValued MemberMember

    A quick update on my research and findings. I don't want to hatch BBS again, so I continued to research small-scale Daphnia cultures. The problem with culturing Daphnia on such a small-scale (from my research) is that it would be extremely difficult to control water quality and culture enough Daphnia for my fish. That being said, I think it would be the perfect idea if I had more space, so it's something to think about for future plans.

    Can anyone recommend a live food source that would be perfect for Golden Cloud Mountain Minnows that I could culture on a very small-scale? I've looked into Microworms, but the minnows are usually only interested in floating foods. Maybe this would change if they had live food?

    Thanks! :)

  4. hampalongWell Known MemberMember

    It will change with live food, don't worry. A spare tank out in the sun is ideal for daphnia. Fill it with tank water, add a small amount of plant fertiliser or manure if necessary, and when it has turned green add a bag or three of live daphnia. It's self perpetuating from there.

    How about wingless fruit flies? They can't escape, and they float. All small fish love them.
  5. TanksbyTimValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the response! Do you think it would be possible to culture the Daphnia inside in a large 1 gallon jar instead of a tank outside? I could provide lighting and green water.

    As for wingless fruit flies, I never knew they were for fish too. I'll have to look into that more. :)
  6. kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    1g is still pretty small. Both Petco and pets mart are doing the $1 per gallon sale so if you're near one I say go grab a 10g tank. That would probably be a more ideal size of you have the space.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  7. TanksbyTimValued MemberMember

    I can't have any more tanks where I am at the moment, so I think I'm going to put off Daphnia until I move in a few months and then setup a proper culture. Thanks for the advice though! :)
  8. GvilleguyValued MemberMember

    I went down a similar thought path as TanksbyTim. I want a fairly simple live food source. I first tried brine shrimp, but really did not like the effort, and dirtying up the tank trying to get the brine out of the hatching bottle. So today ordered a producing colony of wingless fruit flies - specifically, drosophila melanogaster (about 1.5mm or 1/16"). They have a hatch cycle of about 14 days. I ordered extra cups and materials to make additional cultures from the first live batch. I will report back with how it goes in a week or two. I plan to keep the culture cups in an empty 6.6 gallon tank (24" wide), which enables me to put a lid on it for temp and humidity control, if needed. But from what I have read, the lidded culture cups might do just fine at room temp without any special heating or humidity control.
  9. kidster9700Well Known MemberMember

    My fish love the wingless fruit flies! Surprisingly, one of my Bettas is not a fan hahaha.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  10. AkiliValued MemberMember


    I not sure if I can post a link to another forum but google Easy Indoor Daphnia Culture. This method is works for me during winter months From spring to fall I use one of my rain barrels.
  11. TanksbyTimValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the advice, everyone! I purchased some freeze-dried Daphnia for now until I move, and then I will setup something to culture live Daphnia instead. I appreciate everyone's input! :)
  12. CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    Don't forget to soak the daphnia before feeding, freeze dried foods can lead to bloating if they're not rehydrated before use
  13. TanksbyTimValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the advice! I didn't know that! :)

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